School advice for January move with two kids for Lent and Easter terms

(7 Posts)
JanLady Fri 26-Aug-16 21:12:07

We're moving for a fellowship with kids who are 7 and 12. We're moving in January 2017 and will probably stay to August. We're hoping to get the kids to Parkside or Chesterton for secondary and Milton, Mayfield or Newham for Primary. The city asks to name three schools. We won't have a car. Is there a third secondary school near CB4 you recommend or school you think are better avoided for such a short visit? We won't have an address until around October so I'm worried there will be no spaces. Any one with experience with January move?

orchardy Fri 26-Aug-16 21:47:43

I haven't tried to move but I know those schools. Chesterton was not full for this new year's Year 7s; I don't know the picture for Year 8 but am sure it's worth a go. Parkside would also be easy by bike - your third option would be either North Cambridge academy or Impington, both of which I'm told are vastly improved. So it shouldn't be impossible to find something that suits. I don't know Newnham so well but I think Mayfield or Milton Road (assume you mean Milton Road, not Milton as you mentioned CB4?) would also be OK to get into. (Don't write just 'Milton' on the form or they will think you want Milton village school). Milton Road always used to be oversubscribed until it got a rather unfortunate choice of new Head and an unfavourable Ofsted, which now means it's easier to get into! The Head has since left and a new and very promising one starts next week, and the school is definitely on the way back up, having just got amazing SATs results - not that these should be given undue weight, but it's definitely not a school to worry about.

WilderRose Fri 26-Aug-16 22:13:17

North Cambridge Academy is well worth a look. 'Cambridge News school of the year' this year. A school that cares for its pupils whatever their starting points. A school with a heart and high aspirations for all.
As Orchardy says, Impington Village College well regarded.
Shirley Primary a good school but may well not have spaces for your seven year old as oversubscribed most year groups.
Good luck! smile.

JanLady Fri 26-Aug-16 23:57:32

Thank you so much WildeRose and orchardy. This sounds promising and might help me sleep at night smile

JanLady Sun 28-Aug-16 22:21:49

Can you tell me the strength and weaknesses of the three schools: Parkside, Chesterton and North Cambridge academy? I'm trying to figure out how good of a fit they might be for my child.

WilderRose Mon 29-Aug-16 06:40:41

I only really know North Cambridge Academy.
It has recently become part of the CMAT group of schools that have high expectations for all children. The ethos seems to be that every child is known and valued. There has been a huge drive to improve results without losing sight of the fact that all children are different and therefore approaches have to be individual and one fit does not fit all. NCA is a 'new' school in that it has a new SLT, name and building. It is trying hard to be the heart of the community. [The old school was struggling a bit when CMAT took over].
They had a Good ofsted in 2015 with outstanding leadership.
The Head is passionate, determined and protective over the children at his school. He talks about developing rounded children ready for their next steps.
The new build is complete apart from some landscaping stuff. Light and airy with great sports space and facilities. New gymnasium and nearly completed BMX bike track and flood lit tennis courts.
They have recently opened a community cafe at the school.
There is a family feel.
I have been impressed with what I have seen and have done my homework around the school.
My child starting there next week!
Downside? He is a bit fingers and thumbs and struggling a bit with learning to do a tie!!
Good luck, whatever you decide.

orchardy Mon 29-Aug-16 16:23:52

DC1 is about to start Chesterton so I can only go on preliminary impressions and reports from friends with older kids. All teenagers we know who go there seem to love it (weird, I don't remember loving school as a teen!). I think they do well by all kinds of children - they have some very, very academic kids and achieved a scary number of A*s and As this year, but it is still a proper comp and a mixed demographic. I have heard that kids are really pushed to succeed and this 'sausage-factory' aspect may not appeal to everyone - it's something I initially had reservations about but in the end convenience and keeping DS with his friends overrides that minor concern. Parkside is a smaller school (and if we're being honest, in the past would have been seen as more 'middle class' ie lots of academics' kids) but Chesterton is giving Parkside a very strong run for its money academically and seems very strong on music, drama etc. People often choose Parkside because it is small and friendly, but then again I have known a few people with unhappy kids at Parkside. Not really sure why but bullying was mentioned by more than one individual. Also (and this may be out of date info) I know someone who moved her son from Parkside to Chesterton as he was a gifted mathematician and P'side didn't set for maths. Am sure it's fine for most! NCA used to be The Manor and was not a very popular choice but as has been said, it's starting to blossom and has a very strong head. You won't get as many viola-playing, poetry reading children of academics called Hero there but it will have many other advantages! I hope I haven't offended anyone but you seemed to be asking us to characterise the 3 schools as much as possible.

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